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Jan. 18, 2023

Episode 63: Pursuing a Kick A** Mindset with Donna Franklin

Donna Franklin takes through her true-life rags to riches story that has allowed her to form a kick a** mindset.


Donna grew up very poor and hungry. Now, she is a highly successful real estate agent and a very busy entrepreneur. She prides herself on being the best she can be at everything she does. She loves helping people to be the best they can be, and loves her family, her dog and her friends.

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Transcript

If you love a good rags to riches story, you're going to love hearing Donna's story. She shares with us, the moments that inspired her to change her mindset become a black belt in TaeKwonDo, moved to Texas, become a real estate agent and develop a kick ass mindset. Which happens to be the name of her book. I can't wait for you to hear more from donna

Melissa:

Hello and welcome back to the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast. Donna, you're a guest today on our podcast and we couldn't be happier. How are you?

Donna:

I'm great, Melissa. Thank you so much for having me on your podcast. I'm so excited. Thank you again.

Melissa:

Oh, I'm thrilled too. The first time we spoke, we just connected immediately and I think we're gonna have a great conversation. I do. So, Donna, you're coming in all the way from Texas?

Donna:

Yes, I am. I live in San Antonio.

Melissa:

Perfect. So right here in Illinois, I live in central Illinois recording this podcast and it's a wet, chilly out today. I mean, it's very humid cold, so it just grabs you when you walk outside. What's it like where you are?

Donna:

Well, yesterday was gorgeous, but today it's been raining, but it's still, it's supposed to be 76 today,

Melissa:

Oh, good for you. Soak it in and send some North Would.

Donna:

I know, right?

Melissa:

So Donna, you are a real estate agent, a very successful real estate agent. You are an entrepreneur, you're an author. You have so many things that you have conquered in this world. You have a black belt in TaeKwonDo. Is there anything you can't

Donna:

do? Oh, you were so kind. Oh my goodness. You know, so for so many years, I, I didn't think I could do anything, right? Mm-hmm. and it's that mindset, right? Um, it's just, um, growing up are, are you okay if I get into my

Melissa:

story to, that was gonna be my next question. So jump right in. Tell us how it started,

Donna:

because, you know, for so long I really had no idea what I could. And growing up in, in Alabama, that's where I grew up. And don't tell too many people that, no, I'm kidding. But I mean, I actually from, from Colorado, I mean from Den uh, from San Shoot, I can't even talk from, um, from Alabama. I moved to, to Colorado, and then I moved from Colorado to San Antonio. And, um, so it, it's interesting because you don't know what you can do until you actually just start trying to figure it out and growing up, my, so my story, um, is growing up we were really, really poor. Um, we lived in the projects we lived in. Well, we never knew where we were gonna live, right? Mm-hmm. So luckily we were never homeless. I mean, thank, thank God, right? Mm. But we, uh, really, so I have three sisters and, um, my grandmother raised me and my sisters, and she also raised my aunts three kids as well. While my mother and my aunt worked, um, neither one of them, um, actually made very much money. And so we grew up really, really, Um, most, most every night growing up until I became 16 and could start working and actually making some money and contributing, um, we went to bed hungry. And the only, I feel like the only way that US kids survived was because we got free breakfast and free lunch at school, right? Mm-hmm. Yeah. Um, I don't know how my grandmother survived. I, I honestly don't. Cause she had almost nothing every. and, um, it was really hard. Um, but. You know, when you're in that situation, it was, it was kind of, it was really scary all the time, um, because you didn't know what to expect. You know, we, we didn't have food. I never had until I, I talk about my book, in my book I talk about when I was 18, I finally had some money. I had been working for two years, right? I finally had some money and I was gonna go buy some clothes for the first time. I had never had a new pair of clothes, a new set of. In my life until that point. Right. Wow. And I went to the store and I didn't know how to buy clothes. I had never been in that situation. You know, growing up, if you don't have food, you certainly don't have any new clothes. Right? Sure. So I had never been in that situation and I was like, I remember it was interesting cuz as I was writing my book, I didn't even remember that story. And then cuz I think you push a lot of those negative things, you know, out of your mind, that you don't wanna think about. and I, and when that story came, I just was like, oh my gosh. Right? Yeah. How far that I have come from that, from that. Just, I, I mean, you know, growing up like that you have no self-confidence. At least I didn't, I had no self-confidence and I don't think any of my sisters or, or my, uh, cousins had any self-confidence. Um, because we were made fun of as kids, right? We were made fun of by the other kids. Um, we. Well, even adults kind of made fun of us, you know, whenever he'd go into a store or into, like, we'd go to the grocery store whenever we would have some money or whatever, and, and I remember one time that the storekeeper said something because, well, you know, gosh, you know your kids, they don't have. you know, their clothes are kind of dirty or, or whatever. And just things like that. So, mm. When you remember those things, it's like, oh my gosh. And those are feelings that you suppress for so long, right?

Melissa:

And you can suppress 'em. But I'm sure they are rooted very firmly in your life experience and in your subconscious.

Donna:

That is so true, and it's things that I never dealt with until I was writing my book. Really? I never even thought about it, but, So much that I didn't really trust people. I, I didn't want to get too close because I was afraid that then they would turn around and hurt me, like I'd been hurt and Right. All the years of growing up. Sure. And I didn't even know how to deal with that until I was writing my book. Right. So,

Melissa:

um, can I jump in here real quick please? Yes. Yes. Because. Writing the book seems to have been powerful therapy for you. It really was. Can you tell us about that moment when that memory coming back, of going into the store and buying clothes and not knowing how to do that? What's the size, what size am I, what, you know, how all of that hit you in that moment? Can you tell us a little more

Donna:

about that? Yeah, absolutely. Um, When I was writing my book and I remembered that and I, I actually just, I think I just broke down cuz I was like, oh my gosh. You know, cuz not ever dealing, not remembering those things so you don't deal with it. And as I was writing my book and I thought, oh my gosh, how did we come through all this? Right? And at that moment I realized, That I, at that time, during my after, I mean, I think after I got in my car, I remember sitting there, there thinking, I never ever want a, if I ever have children, I will not allow that to happen. So I am not going to live the way that I had lived. And so I always had things in my mind. I always knew I wanted to do better and I was going to do better. I didn't know how. but I knew I was going to, cuz I did not want this to ever happen to any child that I had or, or also I knew that if I could just make things better for myself, I could make things better for my other fam, my other siblings. Right. Hmm. Um, You know,

Melissa:

whenever we read about heroes, and you know, Marvel has kind of warped our perception of what a hero is because they all have superheroes that have supernatural powers. But there used to be human heroes like Rocky and Wonder Woman and all of these wonderful examples. But whether we're talking about human heroes or superheroes, There always seems to be an origin story that one moment that changed their lives was that moment sitting in your car and making that vow and that promise to yourself. Do you think that was your origin story moment?

Donna:

What a great question. I think that was the beginning. The beginning because whenever, um, I, so I got married pretty young. I was, I was 20, well, 24. That's pretty young. And then we adopted a daughter. And she, um, when she came along, I knew, I mean, I was doing pretty well at that point. I wasn't a real estate agent. I worked for the government at that point. Mm-hmm. uh, we were in Colorado and I was working for the Air Force and I was doing pretty well in my career, and I just thought, Whenever I had this little being there, right? She came to us when she was 10 months old and I thought, oh my gosh. And she had been through some really tough times because just being from Guatemala and she had been through some really tough times, even as a child, and so I thought, I'm going to protect her. I'm going to make sure that she has what she. not everything that she wants. Cause I never wanted her to be spoiled, right? Mm-hmm. But I wanted her to have mostly what she, what she wanted as well. But I knew that that was going to be my who I wanted, you know, how I was going to change my life and, It's interesting because whenever, whenever I had always wanted to take martial arts and that came from, I love Bruce Lee. Do you remember Bruce

Melissa:

Lee? I absolutely remember Bruce Lee.

Donna:

I loved him. Watching him on, you know, on the movies. I was like, oh my gosh, he can take care of himself. He can protect himself, he can protect his family. And that's what I. That was something that I needed in my life, but until my daughter came around, I didn't, I never pursued that. Right. And when she came, when she came along and she was three. And I kept passing this martial arts school on my way to and from dropping her off at, at daycare, going to work, you know? Right. Mm-hmm. And one day I finally said, I am gonna do it today, because if I don't, I'm gonna just keep wearing. Right? So I went in there and I remember this so well, I went in there, it was, it was so intimidating, right? Because I still don't have my confidence really well at that point. So I went in there and there was a bunch of people in their TaeKwonDo uniform standing around, and I. There was this one lady and she, she was, she just said, Hey, well can I help you? And I'm like, no, that's ok. So I just grabbed the schedule and I kind of walked out and I went to my car. I thought, what is wrong with you, I didn't say right. I didn't wanna tell her my story, you know? So I actually, Called and talked to the head of the TaeKwonDo school, and I'm still in touch with him to this day. No, Chris Naski, he's actually, he's, uh, he's no longer in ta. He no longer is, um, has his martial arts school, but he, so in, in TaeKwonDo you can have up to eight belts, black belts, right? Mm-hmm. he's at seven. Seven. He's a seventh degree black belt. Amazing, amazing man. And he is, he, to me, he was the epitome of what I wanted to be, right? Mm-hmm. he was, he had the strength, the confidence, everything that I lacked, right? And as soon as I started taking classes, I knew that's where I belonged. And I, it took me five and a half years to get my black belt. Right. Yeah. But my daughter basically grew up in the school, Cause we were there two or three nights every week. And of course that's, you know, so then she started taking TaeKwonDo as well. And, and, uh, she got up to her red belt, but then we moved to San Antonio. So, um, but it's interesting because up until that point, I had to have a security system in my home. I, I couldn't. If I didn't have a security system mm-hmm. because I didn't feel safe. And after I got my black belt and I realized, you know what, I can take care of myself now and I can protect my daughter as well. That's when I didn't have to have a security system in my home. Right now I still do, but it's because I want to, I haven't even used it in a while, but Right. It's because, and, and it's kind of how you grow.

Melissa:

Oh, sure. It sounds like you needed that security within yourself. You needed a system that would guarantee you're not going to just lose everything. Exactly. Maybe it wasn't for that external threat of a person robbing your home, but that existential threat that everything could be gone. Exactly.

Donna:

That's exactly right. I could lose everything and then where would I be? Right. Yeah. I think that's exactly right. So I, I just believe that that moment in my car was the first time I ever made up my mind that I was not going to be a victim. Right. I, I did not want to have, I, I don't know if I'd ever had that mentality. It's like when you're kind of pushed down and you're pushed down and, and you don't have a, a good, um, mindset, or you don't, you don't even know where you're going to, how, how you're gonna make it or, or any of those things, right. I, I think, yeah, you don't know what to think or say or do and, and you have to, I do think that that was the first time I made up my mind that I was not gonna be in.

Devon:

Hi, I wanna take a quick moment and tell you about my mom. She's an amazing mom and an amazing podcast host, isn't she? She's also amazing at helping people to understand and manage anxiety and to build a strong spiritual practice. She has online courses, books, and a lot of free resources and downloads to help you live in amazing life. So please check out Light Life and love ministries.com Edge, our YouTube channel. Lily started the show notes.

Donna:

Anymore.

Melissa:

And it sounds like you went to a, from a place of life happening to you to a place of you were going to make the life that you wanted.

Donna:

Exactly. That's exactly right.

Melissa:

You know, when you were talking about your daughter and how she inspired action within you and resolve within you, I couldn't help but think, do you have a bit of your grandma in you? Oh,

Donna:

It's funny that you say that. Oh my gosh. Um, because I, I really do feel like, so everyone says that everyone that knew the family and there's known mm-hmm. knew my grandmother. They said that I have her body, right. Mm-hmm. and that, so she and I actually, I wouldn't say look alike, but I have her features I guess you'd say. Right? Yeah. And so it's funny that you mention that cuz if that's what everyone says, it's that I'm like, my grandmother

Melissa:

sounds like you have her heart and her characters and values too. She was not on her watch. Gonna let you all go without, and you made that similar promise to yourself and your daughter. For sure. Yeah. generation to generation I know,

Donna:

right. And, you know, uh, there, for the longest time, Alyssa, I, I know I blamed my mother because of not having what we wanted and needed and, and, um, I, I realized, it's interesting. So my mother passed away a few years ago, and before she did, uh, she passed away. I, we did, I did talk to her and tell her, you know, that we made, we made peace with everything. Mm-hmm. And I realized as I was writing the book and, and I actually have a business coach as well, and my business coach said to me not too long ago, she said, do you really think your mom wanted to live in poverty? And that hit me. I was. oh my gosh. Of course not, right? Mm-hmm. right? So I, I felt like I had forgiven her, but now I understand her more. When, when my coach said that,

Melissa:

that's powerful. That's a huge awareness, right?

Donna:

Because I thought, oh my gosh. So I really hope, and that's what I, I really, I'm so thankful for you to have me on your podcast because there's so many people out there that I'm sure have. Some of the same, uh, or at least similar, uh, situations that I grew up in. Like they, they grew up the same or, or similar and perhaps some are blaming their mom or their dad or whatever. And I'm just like, you know what if, if your parents really did want. Something else, but they didn't have the, the ability then that's what you have to realize is, I mean, most parents, if 99% of the parents aren't ever gonna want anything bad for their child, they, they want them to have, especially have things that they didn't have. Right. And so, absolutely. Um, that's what I, that was something else. That was a realization. Wow. I mean, I, it's interesting how this book was so cat. Oh yeah, I never would've known. And, and this book came about. So this is my second book. My first book was on real estate, and this was my second book, but the first book was to help new real estate agents so that they could stay in the business. And then this one is like it, it brought back all so many things because. I feel like, I truly feel like I have been successful in my life because of my mindset, because I didn't continue having a mindset of poor me. Oh, you know, I'm so I had such a terrible childhood, right? I tried to think, okay, how can I make things? how can I help others while I'm doing that as well. And, um, I mean, still to this day. So every, every dollar that I make from this, from my book, and this is, I'm gonna show you my book.

Melissa:

Well, not yet. Don't show it yet. I don't

Donna:

wanna, okay. Okay. Yeah, before we

Melissa:

get to that, because the name of your book is fun. Okay. And before we get there, I wanna ask you another question, please. Of, so you're in Colorado. You take TaeKwonDo, right? Five and a half years, you get your black belt. How do you become a real estate agent? Because to be a real estate agent, you really have to have a lot of self-confidence. You have to go out and promote yourself as much as you promote the properties. That's, you have to have that entrepreneurial mindset and all of those things. That is a huge jump from where you began.

Donna:

That's a great, another great question. So I truly feel like that I. worked for the government, um, because it was a safe place. Mm-hmm. right? Mm-hmm. Once I was able to get in and start working, and I did really well, it was a safe place. Even though at that point I, I feel like I had always had an entrepreneurial mind. Mm-hmm. and I always had ideas. and then I never followed up with them, and then I'd see 'em on TV a year later, right, with somebody else that they had brought So I always had that in my mind. I always had these ideas and I knew I wanted to do something different, but I didn't have the courage until. I moved from Denver to San Antonio and I had just finished with my black belt. Mm-hmm. And so I had that confidence, right? Mm-hmm. Um, and when I moved to San Antonio, they didn't have a position for me that I could go into with the government. And so I was waiting around and waiting around to see what I could. or how I could work. Cause I've never not worked since I was 16. Right, right. And so one of my church, so I, I started going to church and one of my church members said, well, why don't you try real estate? And the market was really down at that. It was in 2007. So Oh wow. The wow market. Right. The market had just. I mean, it had gone under for, uh, because of the mortgage industry. Mm-hmm. And I was thinking, okay, well I can try it. Right? And he said, well, I'll tell you what, I have two neighbors that are going to be selling their homes. Once you get your real estate license, then you let me know and I'll introduce you to them. And if they wanna hire you, they can, they can, they'll hire you. And that's what I. Wow. And so my first two, uh, sales in real estate were listings, which is not normal in most cases, but they went so well. I had one really great, the first client was amazing and they, they were so good and just, and it's interesting because it was almost like I knew what to do even though I had no Right. It was so interesting cuz I was like, I, I think it was just the. Maybe it was my grandmother, you know, my, all of that Uhhuh, cause of her teachings and her love and her, her support. Mm-hmm. Um, and she, she couldn't change a lot of things, but I always knew that she loved me. and, um, that was, that was, I, I think that's really where that came from is, is because I knew I just needed to help these people too, cuz they wanted to move, move on and move outta state. And I needed to make sure that I did everything I could. So I learned as much as I could too during that timeframe so that I could make sure that they had a great experience. And, uh, so that's kind of how I started my in real estate and. It was, it was so interesting because it took me three years to actually start making some really good money. But my first year I actually. Sold 15 houses.

Melissa:

Wow.

Donna:

Right. That's amazing.

Melissa:

I was like, yay. Perhaps you have an ability here.

Donna:

Yeah. Real estate. It, it's been great. It's been so, so good. But it did take me three years to actually get to six figures. Mm-hmm. Um, but still three years is great. Um,

Melissa:

did you hear what you just said? Six figures. What is it like to say that about yourself now? Oh,

Donna:

it's amazing. So for the last 12 years, I have been in making six figures and what it has allowed me to do, is, is helped by family members. I also have started a program at one of the, the, um, one of the schools here in town. It's actually one of the, uh, school systems, school districts. Mm-hmm. And they, I, I started working with one of the counselors and in one of the, Amazing. She was, she's been so great and so what we, what I do is I provide money to them. She actually goes and she shops for the kids. She, we bought backpacks for them and so every Thursday the kids come in that, and there's there during the pandemic. It was crazy how many kids needed that, right? We went from about 18 families to 76 families. Wow. Needed help. But so what we do is, so I provide the money and on Thursdays the, um, the kids come to the counselor. They, she has all the, all the food and everything. They pack their own backpacks. They get to take that backpack home with them if they have siblings. We put extra food in there for them, right. For their siblings. And they get to take that home and they bring for the weekend so that they'll have. When they're home, and then on Monday or Tuesday when they bring the backpack back to school, then the process starts again. So it has allowed me to help with that. And it's so good because I, I just thought I've got to help somehow. And I just kept, honestly, it took me, I, I know it's crazy. It took me a couple of years. I, I kept getting this prompting. Prompting mm-hmm. to do something right. And I finally, I'm like, okay, Lord I'm gonna do it. Yes. So I went to the school, I was scared. Here I am an adult and I'm like, I'm scared of death to go and say, um, I'd like to do this, but I'm not sure what to do.

Melissa:

Sure. They scooped you right up,

Donna:

They did. They're like, oh, yes. Okay. We can help you

Melissa:

Donna, what does it feel like for you to call yourself a philanthropist?

Donna:

I've, I don't, I've never thought of myself as that, uh, ever. I, wow, gosh, you just threw something at me, Melissa Like I never thought of myself before. That's what you

Melissa:

are. Oh. From where you began and now you're a philanthropist. Oh

Donna:

my gosh. I never thought about it like that. Thank you. Wow. Wow.

Melissa:

So I think now's the perfect time to tell us the title of your book,

Donna:

Okay. I had some people that said, okay, you might have, might have offend some people. And I'm like, you know what? This is so I love this title. So I had my videographer help me to create this cover. And I love this. So this is my cover, right? Tell us what it says. It says, developing your kick ass mindset. And on the the front, hang on.

Melissa:

If you're watching, if you're listening to the podcast, make sure you hop over to YouTube and catch the video to see this, this beaming smile on Donna's face as she shares this book cover. It is amazing, and the book cover's really cool. All right. Tell us, describe the book cover to us

Donna:

Thank you so much, Melissa. So the book cover is a TaeKwonDo uniform and it has a black belt wrapped. And on the back, that's me getting my, my Black belts And that's Mr. Naski that we discussed earlier. Um, that's, uh, that's, he is a seventh degree black belt right now. But he and his team were amazing and they helped me to, to just grow and develop. And so it's interesting because his story, he came from where his father. Was, um, beating his mother. Mm-hmm. and he got into martial arts so that he would not use that. Like, cuz uh, I guess a lot of, a lot of children when they see that, they develop that or they use that in their marriage. Absolutely. Those,

Melissa:

yes, those traits are passed on until they're healed. They are passed on.

Donna:

Right. So learning his. And knowing where I came from, it was just, it was a perfect fit. And I thought, if he can do this, I know I can do this. Right.

Melissa:

And Donna, if you can do this, so can the person listening to this podcast

Donna:

exactly. I agree. I so agree. And that's honestly, Melissa, I, that's why I'm so excited about this book because I know if a person will just read the book and apply the principles that are in it, I know that they can get to where they wanna be. Right. Because sure, if I can do it, anybody can do it.

Melissa:

Well, and it was that relationship with him that really changed you and you also develop relationships with people. Do you have more than a book to

Donna:

offer? Oh, oh my gosh. I do. And you know, I wanted to do this just for your, your listeners too. I just developed a mini course last week to go along with the book. I just finished it. I was like, I've gotta do this. Before I get on Melissa's podcast, because I wanted to make sure your listeners. Would have this, and I love this mini course. It is. So to me it's really, really powerful. It will help them, it, the book I think is really, really great. But I, the, the mini course will help them, anyone to develop their mindset even more so, because there's some questions that are really, really deep in this mini. Yeah, that if they sit there and they just ponder it, they're going to help themselves to work through anything. Anything.

Melissa:

So those who listen to your, or who read the book, who follow those directions, they might have their own origin stories, is that what you're saying?

Donna:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I just feel like they will be able to. Anything that they set their minds through it, they will be able to work through everything that they have dealt with and get through it just like I did.

Melissa:

Donna, you are a treasurer, uh, to get the book, the link will be in the show notes. Just click on that link. It'll take you right to the book. Don't miss the mini course. Click that link. It's in the show notes as well, and partner with Donna and become. A philanthropist in your own life, just like Donna has. She started with less than nothing and now look at her a philanthropist to, to so many. Donna, thank you so much for being on this podcast today.

Donna:

Melissa, you just made my day. Oh my gosh, you're such a warm, wonderful person. Thank you so much.

Melissa:

I'm gonna give you the last thought today. Is there one last thought you would like to share with folks?

Donna:

Oh gosh. You know what? Don't let life get you down. Don't, do not allow anything to get you down. Life is too short and you, I promise you, you can do anything you want to do. You just need the right mindset. So get your kick ass mindset.

Melissa:

You heard it here first. All right. Thank you, Donna.

Donna:

Thank you my dear. Have a great day.

Donna FranklinProfile Photo

Donna Franklin

Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Donna grew up very poor and hungry. Now, she is a highly successful real estate agent and a very busy entrepreneur. She prides herself on being the best she can be at everything she does. She loves helping people to be the best they can be, and loves her family, her dog and her friends.